SquareTrade Labs says it used ‘killer robots’ to test some of the latest smartphones on the market, namely the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, and the iPhone 6s.
The gadget protection specialist says its tests show the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge were water-resistant, but that the Apple iPhone 6s is “still sturdier when it comes to drops and tumbles”.
SquareTrade says its latest tests had the new generation of Samsung Galaxy phones square up against the company’s “arsenal of bots, including the new Deep Water Dunkbot and Tumblebot”. SquareTrade calls them “breakability tests”.
With Samsung making a big splash about the water-resistant capabilities of its new phones, SquareTrade sought to uncover whether these would prove to be the “splash dunk” advantages needed to overtake rival, Apple.
SquareTrade Labs found both the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge to be water-resistant, but they still stumbled when it came to screen durability. The iPhone 6s, with its ion-strengthened glass, proved to have the sturdiest screen of all.
For the latest round of breakability tests, Squaretrade Labs added two new robots: the Deep Water DunkBot and the TumbleBot.
The Deep Water DunkBot submerges phones under five feet of water for 30 minutes.
To mimic the repeated tumbles that smartphones often take, SquareTrade also created the TumbleBot, which continually drops devices in an enclosed chamber at a rotational speed of 50 revolutions per minute for 30 seconds.
Some of the key findings of SquareTrade’s breakability test results:
- Water resistant? Yes. Waterproof? No. The S7 and S7 edge both survived 30 minutes under water, but their audio was permanently muffled and distorted. The iPhone 6s lost all audio and suffered water damage under the screen, while the iPhone 6s Plus malfunctioned at 10 minutes and died at 24 minutes.
- The iPhone 6s is a tumble master. The iPhone 6s was the only phone to survive the tumble test unscathed. The S7 and S7 edge both suffered significant damage to their back panels, while their front screens had minor cracks. The iPhone 6s Plus’ screen completely shattered.
- Sidewalk resistant? No. Dropped on their corners from six feet high, the S7 cracked after four falls, while the S7 edge was completely unusable after seven. Dropped facedown, the S7 shattered on the first fall, while the S7 edge shattered on the second.
- Bend issues persist for Samsung. In our bend test, the S7 edge performed the same as its S6 edge predecessor. Not only did the phone crack at 110 pounds of pressure, but it also reached catastrophic failure at less than 170 pounds. The S7 withstood 170 pounds of pressure – the same as the iPhone 6s.
Aileen Abaya, director of communications at SquareTrade, says: “Samsung’s new phones may hold up to an impressive amount of water, but we’ve found that they still struggle to keep up with the iPhone when it comes to screen durability.
“So while the S7 and S7 edge may be perfect for underwater adventurers, those of us who are clumsy or accident-prone should still be careful about drops and tumbles.”
SquareTrade’s Breakability Score fills the gap left by traditional reviews, says the company. SquareTrade carries out a stringent set of tests on new phones and awards them a rating.
This Breakability Score is based on a number of factors: from physical characteristics to the results of SquareTrade’s drop, dunk, bend and tumble tests. The higher a device scores on a scale of 1-10, the higher the risk of it breaking due to an accident.